Theo Walcott is desperate to have an injury-free season to show just what he can do - for both Arsenal and England. The 21-year-old was a shock omission from Fabio Capello's final 23-man squad for South Africa 2010. However, after the Three Lions' hugely disappointing FIFA World Cup™ campaign, the Gunners forward looks set to be brought back into the fold for the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers this Autumn.
Walcott was part of the Under-21 squad which reached the final of their European Championship campaign during the summer of 2009, which less than impressed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who warned of player burnout.
The pacy forward, who had suffered a dislocated shoulder while training with the England senior team for a friendly against Germany during November 2008, would go on to make only 15 starts for the Gunners last season as his progress was indeed checked by a string of niggling injury problems.
However, after an unexpected extended summer break, Walcott cannot wait to get back into action as Arsenal look to end a five-season trophy drought. "Last season was a disappointment, personally, with the amount of injuries I have had," he said. "Hopefully I can have an injury-free season - that is my first target, and to try and help this team win something.
"I think it is difficult to have a whole season without any injuries, but that is football and we have got to live with that. I will just be trying to concentrate on having a better season than last year, because it was a disappointment not to play as much as I wanted to.
"Hopefully I can give something more to the fans this year," Walcott added. "We want to win something now instead of using the excuse that we are young players. We were very close [to winning a trophy]. We always tend to be that touching distance, but we have dropped quite a lot of points where we should not have."